JONATHAN NICHOLS Right recipe for success Full inter view - Page 3
MARTIN THOMPSON Taking a relaxed view Column - Page 6
An EXAMINER publication
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees
‘New chapter’ as law firms combine TWO law firms with offices in Huddersfield have joined forces in a move to further boost their services. Switalskis Solicitors and Parker Bird Gardner have announced their merger just months after Switalskis linked up with Green Williamson, another established legal practice with offices in Leeds, Wakefield and Pontefract. The latest merger was announced after contracts were signed in Leeds by Lorrette Law, a senior partner at Switalskis, and Paul Gardner and Ranjit Uppal, of Parker Bird Gardner. Said Ms Law: “This move will allow both Switalskis and Parker Bird Gardner to further develop our legal services. Like Switalskis, Parker Bird Gardner is widely respected and by combining our strengths we can face the exciting challenges ahead.” Paul Gardner, a director Huddersfield-based Parker Bird Gardner, said: “This merger marks an exciting chapter in our history. The creation of a large law practice throughout West Yorkshire will enhance the ability of both practices to provide high quality legal services to current and future clients.” Mr Uppal said: “We are looking forward to combining our resources. Both firms have already established very strong relationships within the
■ SIGN HERE: John Durkan (left) and Lorette Law, of Switalskis, with Paul Gardner, (second left) and Ranjit Uppal, of Park Bird Gardner
family and care law sector and we are confident that our clients will continue to benefit completely.” Parker Bird Gardner, based at Queen Street, has been providing legal services to the Huddersfield and Kirklees district since 1980. The practice, which has 30 staff and five directors, has family law, conveyancing and immigration teams. Under the deal, Switalskis will transfer its five solicitors and four support staff in Huddersfield to the
Queen Street offices. Mr Gardner and Mr Uppal will become full equity partners at Switalskis Solicitors LLP. Mr Gardner said the merger came against a backdrop of big changes in the legal marketplace – such as the Co-op launching legal services – and the dramatic reduction on Legal Aid. He said: “The idea is to be bigger and better. We have quite a high profile and we have always provided niche services. Merging our organisations
creates more resources, the potential for economies of scale and the chance to bring in high quality staff.” And he stressed: “We are looking to expand. The intention is to recruit and get into new areas of law.” Mr Gardner is a member of the Law Society Children Panel, the Association of Lawyers for Children and is a High Court (Civil) Advocate. Mr Uppal qualified as solicitor in 1997 and has been a partner at Parker Bird Gardner since 2000. A member of the Law Society Children Panel, a Senior Law Society Accredited Immigration Asylum Solicitor and a Higher Courts (all proceedings) advocate he is experienced in all areas of family/child law and is head of the firm’s immigration department. Switalskis specialises in criminal and childcare law and operates from seven offices – in Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Wakefield, Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, and Pontefract. It has 11 partners and employs more than 200 staff, including more than 80 solicitors. Ms Law is a Higher Court Advocate (Civil Courts), which means that she is able to represent clients before Courts at all levels. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1989 and has specialised in child care law throughout her career.
Urgent action needed, says chamber report MINISTERS must back up talk of “rebalancing” the economy towards manufacturing by taking urgent measures to boost business, says a leading industry organisation. The latest quarterly survey of its members by the Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber reported a “a clear climate of negativity” among companies – with a fall in export sales and orders offsetting a modest pick-up in domestic trade and employment prospects remaining flat. It said: “The recovery continues to bump along with little momentum gathered on a quarterly basis and there has been negligible overall improve-
ment since 2009. “Employment and employment expectations remain flat this quarter following an encouraging rise in quarter two this year. “This is very disappointing and illustrates the ongoing difficulties faced by many businesses, who remain reticent and continue to defer growth plans as the economy falters.” Chamber president David Horsman said: “The economy in our region continues to bump along the bottom with very little sign of any gathering momentum or sustained recovery in any of the important economic indicators.
“In spite of some minor positives, the overall picture continues to indicate that business confidence remains at a low level and it is clear that employment and investment decisions are being strongly affected by ongoing uncertainty about the eurozone and worries about falling levels of demand and ongoing recession throughout the world. In short, the pessimistic economic outlook reported by our members throughout the year shows no sign of abating.” Mr Horsman said the chamber was lobbying for more to be done to encourage economic growth, provide incentives for businesses to bring for-
ward investment and expansion plans and create jobs. “The Government must take bold steps to improve affordable access to finance and provide immediate funding for important and spade-ready infrastructure projects,” he said. “Government rhetoric about rebalancing our economy towards manufacturing and exports now need to be backed-up by serious and targeted interventions to provide more valuable tax-breaks for manufacturing firms and meaningful financial incentives to exporters, particularly for businesses looking to expand into overseas markets for the first time.”
INSIDE Property problems A RISE in stamp duty in the last Budget has affected sales of some of West Yorkshire’s most exclusive residences, says a property expert. Matthew Pryke, chief executive of the Fine & Country estate agency in Huddersfield, said the government’s decision to put stamp duty on homes worth more than £2m up to 7% in the spring had depressed the market in luxury homes across the district.
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Soldier support A DEWSBURY firm is supporting Britain’s armed forces by offering flexible employment for a reservist who works for the firm. Martin Bailey, an IT support administrator with Rixonway Kitchens, serves with the Yorkshire Regiment and plays trombone in the regimental band. He takes part in parades, marches, concerts and events to welcome home troops.
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Call for politicians to support merger
THE chief executives of Britain and Europe’s largest defence and aerospace firms have issued a plea for political support for their proposed £28bn merger, saying now is the time to do it. Ian King, chief executive of BAE Systems and Tom Enders, his EADS counterpart, appealed for political support for the plan, saying it would create a global company that would be more than the sum of its parts. Although the merger is a commercial deal, the approval of the British, French and German governments will be needed if it is to go ahead. The United States is understood to be taking a close interest in the deal because of BAE’s involvement in sensitive US defence projects. In a joint article published in several newspapers, Mr King and Mrs Enders attempted to reassure politicians’ concerns and urged them to back the deal.
Saying the merger was “borne out of opportunity, not necessity”, they wrote: “BAE Systems and EADS are both strong businesses with clearly defined strategies that have enabled them to make progress in the last five years, and which would take them forward as independent companies. “But there comes a time when it is right to seize the moment and to create something that is even stronger and better. “We believe that time is now. With the necessary political will and support, management determination, and proper governance, BAE Systems and EADS can produce a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.” They added that the firms proposed to replace the shareholder arrangements which currently give Daimler, French multi-national Lagardère and the French state joint control over EADS.
Aldi plans to open more stores LOW-COST supermarket chain Aldi unveiled multi-million pound expansion plans as it reported a near six-fold increase in annual profits. The privately-owned German retailer pledged to invest £181m in opening 40 new stores by the end of 2013, taking its total number of UK stores to more than 500. Cash-stra pped mid dle-class shoppers were behind a 30% rise in group turnover in the year to December 31 to £2.8bn and a four-fold leap in operating profits to £102.9m. The budget grocer – which has increased market share by 54.1% year on year – has benefited from the squeeze on consumer spending
power as high inflation and low wages forced shoppers to reconsider their shopping habits. Its meteoric rise is in sharp contrast to Britain’s biggest supermarket, Tesco, which is battling to turnaround its fortunes in the UK amid falling like-for-like sales and under-pressure profits. Aldi, which has stores at Milnsbridge, Waterloo and Beck Road in Huddersfield, said the strong performance was down to a change in its offering over the last three years – with a greater focus on fresh food – as well as an increase in customers doing a full weekly shop at the stores.
■ MAKING THEIR CASE: Ian King (left), of BAE Systems, and Tom Enders his counterpart at EADS
They are also making arrangements that would “protect the strategic and national security interests of the governments with which we work, particularly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, given
Tie-up is on track
the importance of those markets to the combined group”. The British Government holds a “golden share” in defence contractors BAE, which means it can veto any merger or takeover of the company. Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken to French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the deal. BAE has previously said that the planned tie-up with Airbus owner EADS will form a “world-class” company in its sector, with combined sales of £60bn and about 220,000 staff. The merged group would employ about 48,000 in the UK alone. The deal, which will give BAE access to the lucrative civil aviation market, will leave BAE shareholders with 40% of the combined group. Shares in BAE closed 2.10p higher at 327.2p each yesterday.
Losses loom for airlines A FALL in the number of first class and business class passengers is likely to push European airlines into the red this year, it is claimed. European carriers are expected to post combined losses of about £750m in 2012, the International Air Transport Association has predicted. Iata said that in July, on the lucrative North Atlantic routes, first class and business class travel – known as premium travel – was 2.4% down on the same time last year. Within Europe in July 2012 premium travel was down 3.5%. Iata director-general and chief executive Tony Tyler said: “European
airlines are expected to post the largest loss of any region. “While governments and the European Central Bank have taken measures to shore up confidence in the euro, these have been fraught with political difficulties. “Additionally, the region is plagued by high taxes, inefficient air traffic management infrastructure and an onerous regulatory environment.” Overall, Iata predicted that world airline profits will reach about £2.56bn in 2012 – a dip on the 2011 figure of about £5.25bn in 2011, but higher than Iata’s forecast for this year made in June, 2012.
MULTI-BILLION pound plans for the creation of a new natural resources powerhouse were revived under a last-ditch deal. The board of mining giant Xstrata has recommended that its shareholders back updated merger proposals with commodities trader Glencore, beating a deadline set by the City takeover panel. The £56bn merger has turned into a long-running saga since being proposed in February amid shareholder discontent over the terms. One of the most contentious issues has been a £227m retention package for top managers, with several large shareholders threatening to block the tie-up unless the bonus scheme is toned down. Xstrata has agreed to give shareholders a separate vote on the bonuses, allowing the deal to go ahead despite potential anger over pay proposals. It believes the incentive deals are essential in order to retain key Xstrata managers for running the combined group’s mining operations. The two firms have also provided assurances that Xstrata will make up the majority of directors on the combined board. Glencore chief Ivan Glasenberg improved the terms of the bid earlier this month after former prime minister Tony Blair was called in to help broker a with Xstrata’s second-largest investor, Middle East sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holdings.
SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £36.08 +0.86 Gannett 1129.83 +30.35 Hess Corp £33.57 +0.29 Microsoft 1837.22 -6.19 Motors Liquidation 46.46 Wal-Mart Stores £46.01 +0.30 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE Avon Rbbr 310 -13/4 BAE Systems 3271/4 +21/8 1 Rolls-Royce 862 /2 +191/2 AIM Brady Plc 104 +41/2 Man Brnze 103/4 -1/4 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 217 +21/4 BANKS Barclays 2223/8 +71/2 HSBC 5871/2 +141/4 Lloyds Banking Gp 40 +11/8 Ryl Scotland 2663/8 +93/8 1 Stan Chart 1435 /2 +351/2 BEVERAGES Diageo 1772 +321/2 SABMiller £271/2 +1/4 CHEMICALS Croda £25 +3/4 Elementis 98 2371/8 +51/8 Johnsn Mat £245/8 +1/2 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 3081/4 +45/8 Costain 2401/2 -81/4
ELECTRICITY Drax Gp 5111/2 +41/2 SSE 1400 +8 ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Laird 2297/8 +43/4 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 3731/4 +31/4 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 2321/8 +13/8 Cable & Wireless 36 -1/8 Comm 7 Colt Group 118 /8 -1/4 KCOM 83 +3/4 Talktalk Telecom 1843/4 -5/8 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 2837/8 -11/4 Sainsbury 3453/4 -13/4 Tesco 331 -1 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food 1308 +19 Tate Lyle 667 +11/2 Unilever £223/4 +1/4 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 3291/4 +11/2 National Grid 696 +13 1 Pennon Grp 734 /2 +12 Severn 1705 +26 United Utils 725 +9 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 2231/2 +3/4 ICAP 333 +117/8 London StockExch 933 -10 Man Group 85 +25/8
Provident Financial 1355 -18 Schroders 1572 +54 Schroders NV 1217 +33 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS Cooksn Grp 601 +4 REXAM 4411/4 +63/8 Smiths Grp 1044 +7 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 283/4 +11/2 Carphone Whse 164 +1/2 Dixons Retail 197/8 +1/8 Home Retail 90 +7/8 Inchcape 3561/4 -31/4 Kingfisher 264 -1/4 M&S 3577/8 +11/8 Mothercare 2161/2 -11/4 Next £345/8 +1/8 WH Smith 625 -211/2 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 692 +81/2 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 611/4 +3/8 Barrat Dev 1743/4 +51/4 Persimmon 761 +21/2 Reckitt Benckiser £361/4 +5/8 3 Taylor Wimpey 55 /4 +13/8 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING IMI 9321/2 +321/2 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 198 +41/4 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 1977/8 +3/8
LIFE INSURANCE Aviva 3251/4 +61/2 Lgl & Gen 1341/4 +21/4 Old Mutual 1745/8 +43/4 Prudential 8201/2 +19 1 Resolution 219 /8 +2 Standard Life 278 +51/4 MEDIA BSkyB 7511/2 +8 D Mail Tst 483 +11/2 1 HIBU /2 ITV 90 +11/2 Johnston Press 77/8 Pearson 1226 +16 Reed Elsevier 598 +6 STV Group 921/4 +1/4 3 Trinity Mirror 53 /4 +3 Utd Business 713 +12 UTV 1321/2 +21/2 WPP 8461/2 +5 MINING Anglo American 1891 +74 Antofagasta 1287 +25 1 BHP Billiton 1974 /2 +491/2 1 Eurasian Natural 315 /2 +63/4 Res Fresnillo 1881 +28 Kazakhmys 7121/2 +20 Lonmin 560 +21/2 Rio Tinto £293/8 +1/2 VEDANTA 1052 +23 RESOURCES Xstrata 980 +221/2 MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 594 +4
Local shares Carclo Marshalls National Grid Weir Gp
4271/2 861/2 696 1803
-23/4 +13 +35
closed at at FTSE closed
5820.45 Up 78.38 Vodafone Group 1763/8 NONLIFE INSURANCE Admiral Grp 1066 RSA Insurance Gp 1115/8 OIL & GAS PRODUCERS BG 1279 BP 4381/2 Cairn Energy 2791/8 Royal Dutch Shell A £215/8 Royal Dutch Shell B £221/4 Total £313/8 Tullow Oil 1397 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 1155 Petrofac 1613
+5/8 +13 +11/8 +29 +2 +4 +1/8 +1/4 +1/2 +27 +9 +18
Wood Gp(J) 8191/2 +16 PERSONAL GOODS Burberry Gp 1014 +13 PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY 1 Astrazeneca £29 /4 -1/4 GlaxoSmithK XD 16 Shire 1832 +18 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 528 +6 Captl Shop Cent 3337/8 +63/4 1 Hamrsn 456 /4 +51/4 Land Secs 767 +51/2 SEGRO 226 -3/4 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Invensys 2383/4 +45/8 Sage Group 3171/8 +33/4 SUPPORT SERVICES Berendsen 550 +41/2 Bunzl 1118 +9 +7 Capita 7811/2 De La Rue 1023 +10 1 Electrocomp 202 /2 +21/4 Experian 1049 +20 G4S 266 +1/4 3 Hays 78 /4 +13/4 Homeserve 217 +7 Menzies J 6401/2 -41/2 Rentokil 821/2 +11/4 Smiths News 123 Wolseley £267/8 +3/8 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 586 +11 Psion 873/4 -1/4
-1/4 TOURIST RATES
TOBACCO Br Am Tob Imperial Tobacco
LEISURE & HOTELS Bwin.Party Digital Carnival Compass Grp easyJet Enterprise Inns FirstGroup Go-Ahead Gp Greene King Intercontl Htls Intl Cons Airlines Gp Ladbrokes Mitchells & Butlers Natl Express Rank Org Stagecoach Group TUI Travel Whitbread
1047/8 £23 6951/2 5911/2 631/2 2401/2 1325 6051/2 1636 1541/4
+1 +1/8 +12 +11 +1/2 +1/2 +13 +5 +16 +51/4
171 2951/4 2113/8 1503/4 2831/8 232 £23
-13/4 +37/8 +13/4 +53/4 +21/4 -21/8 +1/4
Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia...................... 1.48 dollars Bangladesh................. 124.16 taka Brazil.............................. 2.92 reals Canada....................... 1.51 dollars China ............................. 9.06 yuan Czech Republic ...... 29.02 korunas Denmark....................... 8.91 krone Euro............................... 1.20 euro Hong Kong................ 11.87 dollars Hungary................... 320.59 forints India.......................... 75.06 rupees Japan........................... 119.49 yen Mexico ....................... 18.51 pesos New Zealand .............. 1.81 dollars Norway ......................... 8.83 krone Pakistan.................. 144.20 rupees Philippines ................. 57.77 pesos South Africa................. 12.53 rand South Korea.............. 1564.00 won Sri Lanka ................ 196.08 rupees Sweden....................... 10.12 krona Switzerland.................. 1.45 francs Taiwan ...................... 41.32 dollars Turkey....................... 2.74 new lira USA ............................ 1.54 dollars
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Chef cooks up a winning recipe!
CHEF Jonathan Nichols cakes. can’t compete with those A neighbour owned a celebrity chefs when it restaurant in Guiseley and comes to losing his cool in at the age of 14, Jonathan the kitchen. began working Friday and Jonathan, owner and Saturday nights and head chef at La Cachette Sunday lunchtimes as a in Elland, says: “I’m a kitchen porter, doing the pretty fair boss, but I’m not washing up. going to deny there are After leaving school, occasions when I have a Jonathan studied catering bit of a rant. for two years at Bradford “I suppose Gordon and Ilkley College and Ramsay and Marco Pierre also worked one night a White are at the pinnacle week at Holdsworth House when it comes to a show in Halifax. of temper. Completing his college “There’s no justification studies in 1988, he went to for it, really. But when you work as live-in comis chef serve a meal that is not as at a pub-hotel in Kettlewell good as the customer before working at expects, someone is going Rombalds hotel and to get criticised.” restaurant in Ilkley for 18 Jonathan’s speaking months. between sips from a Mr However, he kept in Men coffee cup bought for touch with the head chef him by his daughter Ami. at Holdsworth House and The cup has Mr Grumpy about six months later was on it and Jonathan smiles: offered a junior position on “I think she was trying to the kitchen staff. tell me something!” He quickly rose through And if he does get a the ranks and at the age of little cross, it’s all in the 20 became second chef in cause of customer service. the busy kitchen, having “I see this business as already amassed six years inviting people into my experience in the industry. house,” he says. Keen to get a head chef “People are paying for post, he applied for jobs at the food we produce. If the Healds Hall Hotel in you invited someone into Liversedge and Clarks your home and gave them Hotel in Bradford – where a shabby meal, it would be he ruled the kitchen for 18 embarrassing.” months and worked with Good food and service former college mate are essential, he says, but Andrew Bradley, who was adds: “It is the little things restaurant manager there. that make the difference. Ever ambitious, they “It is down to how the began searching for a table looks, how the restaurant to run for customer is spoken to. themselves and found the “If someone is working ideal location at Fitzwilliam in the restaurant on a busy Street in Huddersfield. In night and the bar is November, 1993, they packed and a customer is opened Bradley’s – and waiting, all it needs is to built up a business which say ‘good evening’ and ‘I’ll has been successful ever be with you in a second’. since. “I tell my staff, it’s not me paying your wages – it’s the customers. “The service has to be up to scratch. You can serve three-star Michelin food, but if it isn’t served to the customer properly, they won’t come back. “It is the whole package. It’s like being on the stage. You are putting on a show from the moment the customer walks through the door to when they leave.” Jonathan has been in charge at La Cachette – French for ‘hiding place” – for the past nine years. Owning the business has realised a long-held ambition for the Bradford-born chef, who ■ TABLE MANNERS: first got interested in Customer service is key, cooking as a boy helping says Jonathan Nichols his grandmother bake
Jonathan Nichols Role: Owner and head chef Age: 42 Family: Married to Natalie with children Josh, 16, and Ami, 10 Holidays: My parents live in Spain and we try to see them a couple of times a year Car: BMW 330 Club Sport First job: Kitchen porter Best thing about job: Seeing empty plates come back to the kitchen Worst thing about job: Paperwork and bookkeeping Business tip: Keep focused and keep a sharp eye on your overheads
La Cachette “The first 18 months were rough,” says Jonathan. “Then we got a glowing review in a regional newspaper. From then on, it just took off. “At the time, we seated about 75. In 1998, we added another 50 covers. “We had already got into the Good Food Guide in 1994 and the restaurant has been in ever since.” In 2001, Jonathan decided to move on. “I spent six months gathering my thoughts,” he says. “I spent six months at Bertie’s in Elland, helping with the outside catering and six months on a consultancy basis at Healds Hall. “The owners of La Cachette were looking for a head chef. “I had been self-employed for 10 years and I told them that if there was the opportunity to get into the business, I would like to take it.” Having been a partner for some time, he is now sole owner of the 85-cover restaurant on Huddersfield Road – a state of affairs that allows him to put his own stamp on the place. But he says: “If you
change things too dramatically, you will alienate your existing customers. “We have tried to keep up with the times. La Cachette isn’t a modern restaurant, but it doesn’t date, either. “We have changed little things and there are other things we want to change. “But we have some customers who come week in, week out and order the same dish.” Says Jonathan: “I have to do the bookkeeping and the paperwork, but I am very active in the kitchen because at the end of the day, my main role is head chef. “It certainly means long days – coming in early in the mornings and finishing at 11 o’clock at night.” Jonathan tries to get a day off during the week, but doesn’t always manage it. A keen runner he has competed in the London Marathon for the past two years to raise money for the NSPCC – having been inspired by comic Eddie Izzard’s multi-marathon efforts. Jonathan will take part again next year.
He has also taken to the martial art of Taekwando. “It is one of those things I wish I’d started doing earlier,” he says. “My son Josh started when he was six or seven and he had been doing it for 12 months before I decided I might have a go at it. “I started doing it just for fitness, but it has ‘evolved’ and I am now a first dan black belt. Josh is going for his second dan black belt, so I’ve a bit to do to catch up!” At home, Jonathan will cook the Sunday roast, although he admits that the family’s hectic schedule means the occasional takeaway for midweek evening meals. And he doesn’t see himself taking a back seat at the restaurant. “It’s in your blood,” he says. “A couple of pals of mine have tried to go out of the industry and failed miserably. “If I took a back seat, I’d have to find something else to do – probably open another restaurant!”
Work: Restaurant Site: Huddersfield Road, Elland Employees: 16 Phone: 01422 378833 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.lacachetteelland.com
Exporters get a boost YORKSHIRE firms have been given extra funding to help them get exporting. UK Trade & Investment will use the £13m investment from the Government to help British businesses make contacts and sell to overseas markets. The majority of the investment – up to £9m – will go directly towards boosting trade opportunities for small and medium sized businesses. It means there will be more money for SMEs to attend trade shows overseas and substantial discounts on the Overseas Market Introduction Service, which provides targeted market research to help firms find crucial first contacts and encourage them to investigate new, fast-growing markets. There will also be increased support for travel on overseas trade missions and £2.5m will be invested in helping firms access and win some of the many high-value opportunities that UKTI has identified globally. A further £1.5m will be used for projects including support for UKTI’s work attracting vital inward investment into
our economy. The announcement comes as UKTI prepares to host Export Week from November 12 to 16. Events will include Explore Export on November 14 in Leeds where UKTI experts from 70 overseas markets will provide bespoke advice about trading in traditional and high-growth markets. UKTI director for Yorkshire Mark Robson said: “This is welcome investment that will provide a real boost to drive regional exports. “There are some fantastic companies out there blazing trails to all corners of the globe, but there are many, many more that have yet to take the plunge and that have the products, skills, quality and competitive edge to follow their lead and make a real impact.”
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Brokers agree merger move TWO insurance brokers have completed a merger – and recruited more staff. Halifax-based chartered insurance broker Wilby Ltd has linked up with Huddersfield-based Ainley’s Insurance Brokers in a move to further strengthen their hand in Kirklees and Calderdale. The business has also appointed four new members of staff and taken on a graduate from Huddersfield University. The merger and staff appointments mean that Wilby Ltd now employs more than 60 people at its Charles Street head office. The merger also provides Ainley’s existing clients access to the ■ MEETING UP: Some of the Wilby Ltd team, including new starters, wider services Wilby Ltd offers who are set for a new future following the merger with Ainley’s such as a qualified health and Insurance Brokers safety adviser and a chartered loss members across different areas of Richard Blackburn said: “The adjuster. The tie-up involves Ainley’s the business. merger with Ainley’s and the Kevin Barrett joins as a risk appointment of new staff members business based at Lindley, which will move to Halifax. The firm’s management consultant, Caroline in key areas of the business highBarnsley and Ossett branches are Gunning joins as a corporate lights our continued growth as one account handler, Caroline Reyn- of the foremost independent insurcontinuing as a separate entity Geoff Otty and Ian McCaul, olds as a scheme account handler ance brokers in the region. who set up Ainley’s 22 years ago, and Paul Stanislawski-Doyle as a “We believe that the experience will continue to serve their clients personal lines broker. and knowledge that these appointWilby has also continued its ments bring can help us to continue from Wilby’s premises in Halifax partnership with Huddersfield this growth in the future.” along with the rest of their team. Between them Mr McCaul and University to take on a placement Wilby Ltd provides business Mr Otty have more than 80 years student in its marketing depart- insurance and risk management experience in the industry. Both are ment for the third successive year. services to SME and corporate and Fellows of the Chartered Insurance Sarah Gibson has joined the mar- private clients across the UK. Institute and Chartered Insurance keting team as part of her business Its innovation in developing studies degree. Brokers. bespoke insurance schemes for speWilby said that taking on a Mr McCaul said: “Our companies are ideally matched and by placement student each year cialist industry sectors – including joining forces with Wilby our demonstrated the firm’s commit- caravan park operators and motorincreased size ensures that we will ment to training and development bike dealers – was recognised at the be able to continue to offer the very in the local area – while giving Ms 2012 British Insurance Awards best service for our clients going Gibson the opportunity to learn where the firm won the award for about the industry and gain relev- Broking Initiative of the Year. forward.” Wilby Ltd also holds Investors in In addition to the merger, Wilby ant work experience. Ltd has appointed four new staff Wilby Ltd managing director People status.
Aiming for a top prize A CLECKHEATON company has been shortlisted for the regional heat of a prestigious award. Graphic design business Matthews Brand Solutions, which has offices at Riverside Drive, is among the finalists in the category for medium employer of the year in the Yorkshire heat of the National Apprenticeship Awards and National Training Awards. The firm is one of 24 companies and apprentices to be shortlisted for the awards which recognise organisations that have delivered outstanding training programmes and rewards excellent employers and their apprentices. Both awards will be contested at a joint awards ceremony
organised by the National Apprenticeship Service on Thursday at the Leeds College of Music. NAS area director Sue Price said: “These joint National Apprenticeship Awards and National Training Awards offer a fantastic platform for young people and employers in our region to share centre stage and gain the recognition they richly deserve for encouraging ambition and enterprise, creating rewarding career opportunities and helping to drive economic growth through their commitment to skills development.” Alongside Matthews Brand Solutions, finalists in the
apprenticeship awards include Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Morrisons and the North York Moors National Park Authority. Finalists in the training awards include North Lincolnshire Council, Lovell Group and ASDA. The National Apprenticeship Awards and National Training Awards 2012 received about 1,500 high quality entrants. All the regional winners will go through to a final national judging stage and the chance to feature among England’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list produced by NAS and City & Guilds.
YORKSHIRE business leaders are getting the chance to catch up with the forthcoming US presidential elections. Government export support arm UKTI is holding a “webinar” for British businesses to learn more about the potential implications for UK-US trade – whether Democrat Barack Obama is returned to the White House or the voters opt for his Republican opponent Mitt Romney. Mark Robson (pictured), regiona director of UKTI in Yorkshire, said: “The US is Yorkshire and Humber’s biggest export market and boasts the most technologically powerful economy in the world. “However, as with any market, it is vital that exporters understand the local economic and political outlook – and the presidential elections in November are likely to have a significant impact. “The webinar is a valuable and timely chance for UK companies who already export to the US – as well as those who are interested in exporting there – to gain greater insight into what these political changes might mean for them and their markets.” Latest figures show that in the 12 months to June, 2012, exports from Yorkshire and the Humber were more than £2.2bn. The webinar, which takes place tomorrow, will feature speakers from the British Embassy in Washington DC and the British Consulate-General in New York, is free and open to all British companies with an interest in the US. To register, contact Nick Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org
BUSINESS leaders will be letting off steam this week. The First Friday Club will meet a the Head of Steam pub in St George’s Square, Huddersfield, on this Friday. The informal networking group, organised by Huddersfield accountancy firm Revell Ward, will get together from 12.30pm to 1.30pm for a chat and a few drinks. For details and to confirm attendance, go to email@example.com
Why you must make them pay
THE BUSINESS BATTLEAXE Amanda Vigar
HETHER you are in business or W not, you’ll have heard the phrase “cash flow is king” many times before.
The saying has never been more true in the thick of a recession when businesses of all shapes and sizes are going to the wall; quite frequently due to the mammoth task they face when trying to balance the books. Yet, one of the most difficult tasks any small business owner can face is how to chase up an overdue invoice. I say difficult because the SME has to navigate a tricky path between having their bill paid and not falling out with the customer. Here are some tips that will help any small business owner chase up overdue invoices: ● Check payment runs – find out when customers make payment runs and what the cut off is. There’s no point in submitting the invoice on the 20th if the cut off for that month's payment run is the 19th! ● Make it easy to pay – You should have a clear collection policy in place outlining credit terms, how you will collect money and
any overdue payments ● Make invoices clear – having a good system in place to record invoices is key. There are many software packages available so you can also track payments. Remember also that, the last time a company can object to an invoice they receive is on the day they receive it. After that time, they cannot quibble and dispute it ● Follow customer instructions – large companies in particular often have strict systems for paying. Maybe they want a special invoice number – so make one for them. Also ensure that it’s consistent throughout your communications to avoid confusion ● Follow up promptly – Make sure you have a consistent collection procedure and always follow up as promptly as possible. Keep a close eye on patterns in which clients generally pay; and ask yourself whether this fits in with your billing cycle? If the client does not pay 10 days after the invoice is due, send them a 10-day letter re-iterating the fact that the invoice is due and (politely!) asking
Amanda Vigar is managing partner at Holmfirth-based accountants V&A Bell Brown LLP
Company warms to northern climes A KIRKLEES company is proving a big hit in Scandinavia. Cleckheaton-based Ferno, a world-leading manufacturer of equipment for the funeral and mortuary sector, has reported record sales of one of its latest products in Norway and Sweden. The firm’s Model 11-T stretcher has been specifically developed from its successful Model 11 design and features an innovative track system that allows it to be used on stairways with more control – reducing the risk of injury to funeral and mortuary personnel. Ferno managing director Jon Ellis said: “Since the Model 11-T was launched we have had some amazing feedback and it’s proving to be a popular solution. “We found there was a gap in the market for a stretcher in the funeral and mortuary sector which would provide easier transportation over uneven ground and down stairs. “In the past six months we’ve had record sales in these countries and we expect this
to continue as more of those in the industry recognise the usefulness of such an innovative product.” The Model 11-T Stretcher is sturdy and lightweight with two front wheels and a narrow track-to-ground clearance for easy manoeuvring over all surfaces, even with the tracks deployed. It folds in half when not in use for easy carrying and storage and includes two five-inch quick release patient restraints, a foot rest and carrying case. Ferno, which has more than 40 years experience in the medical equipment sector, provides equipment including removal trolleys, scoops and transfer boards, trestles and biers. The company also makes equipment for the emergency services and exports to more than 75 countries. It is also looking to introduce its products to the military sector, workplaces, visitor attractions, schools and universities.
for payment ● Be polite – Shouting threats is not going to do you or your business any favours. If all else fails and the client is ignoring you or refusing to pay the bill, then consider whether you really want their business in future and make a decision about whether or not it’s worthwhile to take them to the small claims court. You can process a claim for money owed up to a value of £25,000 online at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. This covers most debts owed to SMEs; but if the debt exceeds this level, consult a solicitor. Consider as well that the business could also be going through tough times or they could be unhappy with the service you have provided. Either way, your main aim is make them pay their bill. Cash flow is king, remember.
Full-page ad prize for firm THERE were lots of winners at the Kirklees Business Conference. But one local company had extra cause for celebration – as winner of an Examiner competition to win a full-page advert. Visitors to the Examiner stand were invited to enter the free draw by popping their visiting cards into a bowl. And when the draw was made, the winner on the day was John Shepherd, of John Shepherd Associates Ltd. The company provides regeneration and housing consultancy services in areas such as partnership development, business planning and interim management. Companies took the opportunity of the full-day conference at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium to renew old contacts, make new ones and promote their products and services to more than 600 delegates. A programme of seminars featuring top-ranked speakers and a Kirklees Business Titans question-and-answer session proved hugely popular – with attendees getting a valuable insight into the thinking of successful business leaders including Dean Hoyle, chairman of Huddersfield Town; Galpharm Pharmaceuticals founder Graham Leslie; and Freeserve founder Ajaz Ahmed. More than 40 organisations joined the Examiner in setting up stands for a well-attended exhibition.
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Eddisons agrees takeover deal TWO property sector firms have joined forces. Chartered surveyors Eddisons, which has offices in Huddersfield, has acquired Philip Davies & Sons, one of the UK’s leading independent firms of plant, machinery and business asset valuers, for an undisclosed sum. All staff from Davies’ London, Manchester and Nottingham offices of the business will join Eddisons, increasing the headcount in its machinery and business assets department to 27. The acquisition means Eddisons now has an auction centre in the Manchester area, serving the North West and the Midlands in addition to its existing facility covering Yorkshire and the North East, which opened at the start of this year. Nigel McDonald (pictured), managing director of Eddisons, said: “This acquisition increases our geographical footprint and means we can now provide banks and insolvency practitioners with valuations and sales of assets, stock and properties on a truly national basis. “It is also good news for clients of Philip Davies & Sons who will benefit from our significant range of specialist property services and exposure to an enhanced auction capability.” Peter Davies, managing director of Philip Davies & Sons, said: “I am really excited at the prospect of joining our two businesses together to provide a complete service to our combined client base. I look forward to working with the staff of both companies to make a real success of this acquisition.” Eddisons was advised on the transaction by the Leeds offices of Lupton Fawcett and BDO. Funding was provided by Barclays Bank.
Are we right to relax the rules? INFORMED DEVELOPMENT
Martin Thompson NE Cabinet minister who came back O from the summer break in fighting form is Local Government Secretary
Eric Pickles – announcing in the House of Commons on September 6 a range of measures to provide more affordable homes and boost the construction industry. The proposal that has made most impact is a one-month Government consultation that could allow homeowners to build extensions up to 8 metres from the rear wall of any detached home and 6 metres for all others without the need to apply for planning permission. This is a doubling of the current permitted size, but the rules that restrict an extension to no more than 50% of the property’s garden will remain in force. The proposal is for this to last for three years. Plus, business will be able to expand shops by 100sq metres and industrial units by 200sq metres. As with most changes to do with rethinking planning laws, there are dissenting voices and within the Conservative party itself. Richmond Council, fearing a deluge of ugly extensions, is considering ways to circumvent the new proposed policy. Their Conservative deputy leader, Geoffrey Samuel, said that the move would be “deeply unpopular” with many residents and allowing neighbours no say in extensions may infringe “their human right to enjoy their own homes in peace”.
However, the proposals go much wider than this. The Government are looking to create a debt guarantee for up to £10bn. Under this scheme, the Government hopes to enable developers to raise debt with a Government guarantee, where they commit to investing in additional new-build rented homes. Government are inviting expressions of interest from developers looking to benefit from this scheme. A second significant proposal is a change to affordable housing requirements within developments. Where a developer can prove that the requirement for the number of affordable houses within a site renders the development unviable, the developer will from early 2013 be able to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate will then be able to create a new agreement with fewer affordable homes. A summary of the proposals is shown below: ● £40bn in government guarantees to underwrite major infrastructure projects and £10bn to underwrite the construction of new homes, subject to a new legislative bill being passed ● Funding of £300m to provide 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use
● An infrastructure fast-track process large scale projects ● Planning Inspectorate to decide planning applications where the local authority has a track record of poor performance, speed or quality of decisions ● A new fast track appeals procedure for some small commercial appeals ● Developers to reduce or remove the need for affordable housing where it is proven they make a site “commercially unviable” ● Consult on a three-year relaxation of planning rules on extending homes and business premises ● An extra £280m for the FirstBuy scheme to help first time homeowners with a deposit. Business Minister Vince Cable has said: “The Government is saying... to registered social landlords and to private house builders, look: if you’re finding it too expensive to raise money yourself to put shovels in the ground to employ people on construction sites and build new homes for private rent and to build affordable homes, we’re going to make it cheaper for you to do so.” Whilst the legislation has not yet been passed, an Englishman’s home is now certainly under debate.
Martin Thompson, is a partner in Commercial Property at Armitage Sykes in Huddersfield
Company backs armed forces A DEWSBURY company is supporting Britain’s armed forces by offering flexible employment for a reservist who works for the firm. Martin Bailey, an IT support administrator with Rixonway Kitchens, serves with the Yorkshire Regiment and plays trombone in the regimental band. He takes part in parades, marches, concerts, military and civil events and welcoming home troops. He played in the presentation of the colours to the Yorkshire Regiment as well as for its Colonel-in-Chief, Prince Andrew. Martin, who is a lance corporal, is currently working for a promotion to a full corporal by embarking on various duties and taking technical qualifications within the band. Rixonway’s public show of support comes as the former head of the Territorial Army, the Duke of Westminster, criticised British firms for discriminating against reservists by refusing to employ them because of their part-time military role. Yet serving with the forces means reservists are able to gain transferable skills that cannot be learnt in their own job – including key skills such as reliability, fitness, self-confidence and teamwork. The Government’s recent Defence Review
■ MILITARY BAND: Martin Bailey (second right), who serves as a reservist with The Yorkshire Regiment and works as an IT support administrator at Rixonway Kitchens in Dewsbury included a reduction in the number of regulars in each Service and an increase in reservists by 2020.
Since 2003, there have been more than 27,000 mobilisations of working reservists.
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Stamp duty hits luxury properties A RISE in stamp duty in the last Budget has affected sales of some of West Yorkshire’s most exclusive residences, says a property expert. Matthew Pryke, chief executive of the Fine & Country estate agency in Huddersfield, said the government’s decision to put stamp duty on homes worth more than £2m up to 7% in the spring had depressed the market in luxury homes. It is estimated there are more than 80,000 homes in the UK over the £2m threshold, including hundreds in and around West Yorkshire, with the rise adding an extra £40,000 to the cost of buying a £2m property – bringing the total tax bill to £140,000. “The impact has been bigger in the country than in the prime London market, which is mainly internationally driven,” said Mr Pryke, whose firm also has agencies in Leeds and Wakefield. “It’s difficult to address stamp duty directly because volume in the market has generally declined in
■ PRESSURE: Matthew Pryke, of Fine & Country
that sector. “If you look at the latest Land Registry statistics, over the last couple of years the market has declined around 50%, even if you are being generous. “I don’t think the introduction of a higher rate of stamp duty was
a surprise – the property industry is used to being heavily taxed. “But I think there was exasperation at a time when the economic picture was more difficult than it has been for a number of years.” A recent survey of 1,000 millionaires and multi-millionaires by investment experts Skandia showed that a quarter of affluent individuals in the UK would avoid buying properties in the £2m-plus bracket. The Millionaire Monitor report also found that a further 11.4% of the super-rich intend to sell any properties they own with a value of more than £2m. Mr Pryke said it was vital the government got banks lending again in order to stimulate the market. “We’ve been quite lucky at Fine & Country in that while the market is challenging we are doing well in the markets that we compete in but I don’t expect the market to change,” he said.
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Recognition for overseas stars KIRKLEES professional service firms working overseas in construction-related sectors have been invited to compete for a major award. The British Expertise International Awards 2013 are open to professional services firms working internationally in infrastructure, architecture, construction, development and related industries. The awards recognise the achievements of the professional services sector at a crucial time for the UK economy – celebrating the ambition of both large corporations and small and medium-sized businesses. Graham Hand (pictured) chief executive of British Expertise, said: “Companies in the professional services sector are the unsung heroes in the national drive to achieve an export-led recovery. “They are playing a leadership role in many of the world’s most important infrastructure, construction and development projects, generating billions for the UK economy. “Now is the time to trumpet the international achievements of this vibrant sector, showcasing the very best individuals, projects and organisations from within our industry.” The awards will be announced at a celebration dinner on March 7,
2013, in London when Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, will deliver the keynote address. Award categories include ones for international business, international collaboration, design project, architecture project, development project and environmental project. There are also awards for outstanding personal contribution and Young Consultant of the Year. Entries close on November 5, 2012. Visit www.britishexpertise awards.com
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Ellie Lyon
MYCCi ELLIE Lyon has been appointed marketing manager for the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. Ms Lyon (pictured) joins the Lockwood-based chamber with a wealth of new marketing experience. She worked for Huddersfield-based Yorkshire Energy Services for more than four years providing marketing and PR for some of the UK’s largest council-backed insulation schemes. The chamber, which has offices at Lockwood Park and in Halifax and Wakefield, supports and provides a voice for local businesses across Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield. Said Ms Lyon: “I’m delighted to have joined such a well-regarded company as the chamber. I’m looking forward to delivering and promoting a high class service for our member companies and aim to develop the membership benefits to be much more interactive.” Her role includes encouraging members’ feedback on chamber services. She will also be launching discussions through Linkedin and the website.
Ben Jeferson, Philip Nuttal & Matthew Marsden
Brighter Connections A HUDDERSFIELD IT practice has announced a series of appointments. Brighter Connections, based at Edgerton, has appointed Ben Jefferson to the board of directors alongside managing director Darren Stringer and expanded its sales and professional services functions. Philip Nuttall, who has more than 20 years experience working in IT as a sales professional, joins the company as business development manager. He will work to secure new business as well as developing relationships with existing clients. Matthew Marsden has joined Brighter Connections to support the customer-facing sales team while Jason Hughes has joined as a technical consultant. Mr Hughes has experience as a consultant in both the commercial and education sectors. The latest additions to the team follow a move to new offices at Edgerton, the appointment of Mr Jefferson to the board of directors and the addition of several key vendor accreditations. Brighter Connections has also created a new brand identity and enhanced business model – both designed to elevate the business and support the company’s desire to help all their clients to profit from IT.
TaxAssist Accountants LOCKWOOD-based TaxAssist Accountants has appointed Kelly Devlin (pictured) as is first-ever apprentice. Ms Devlin, 19, will receive on-the-job training while studying one day a week to gain her AAT Accounting Technician qualifications. Nick Brook, who runs TaxAssist in Huddersfield, said: “We firmly believe in on-the-job training and are delighted to have successfully set up our first apprenticeship scheme.”
Movers and shakers
Recognition for a growing firm! A HUDDERSFIELD law firm has named the latest winner of its monthly business award scheme. Eaton Smith hosted a presentation at its High Street offices to recognise metal fabricating and powder coating specialists C&C Fabrications Ltd. The business was formed in 2004 by the two partners, Chris Butler and Chris Walladge, to carry out basic sheet metal working using standard plant and machinery. It continued to develop slowly with a small customer base – until the turning point came in 2005 with the purchase of its current premises at Ferrybridge, Knottingley. The move allowed the business to capitalise on further opportunities to add more accredited welding services as well as increasing capacity for the core business. The firm quickly outgrew the existing premises, forcing it to significantly extend the factory during 2006 and allowing it to develop the powder coating process in-house – resulting in a far better quality in the finished product being delivered to the customer. The company employs 40 people skilled in metal working, welding and fabrication and provides continuous training and development to support the growth of the business and allow it to increase capacity. Its customers base includes general engineering, manufacturing, food processing and chemicals. The judging panel commended C&C Fabrications Ltd for growing the business through a very depressed market during the recession with investment in plant, equipment and their staff. The result has been a 60% improvement in revenues this year.
■ HEAVY METAL: Chris Taylor (centre), of Eaton Smith, presents the award to namesake Chris Taylor (second right), of C&C Fabrications, with judges (from left) Chris Jowett, of Jowett Chartered Surveyors; Gary Dickinson, of Gibson Booth; and Annie Bradley, of UKTI
Managing director Chris Butler said: “It’s great to be awarded the business of the month prize. “It goes some way to make all the hard work that has been done by us and all the staff involved worthwhile”.
Centenary party A TRAINING organisation celebrating its 100th anniversary said “thank you” to its clients across the north at an event in West Yorkshire. Juliette Dennett, Mirfield-based managing director of Dale Carnegie Northern England, welcomed guests to a lunch in Leeds, During the event, David Fagiano, chief operating officer for Dale Carnegie Associates, presented the Dale Carnegie Leadership Award to client Robert Forrester, chief executive of automotive dealership Vertu Motors, based in Gateshead. Said Juliette: “This year has been a momentous one for Dale Carnegie and this lunch is a way of saying thank you to those we’ve worked with for the last centenary. It’s also about looking forward to the next 100 years. “We wanted to celebrate the success of Vertu Motors by presenting Robert with the award, which is for outstanding business leaders where exceptional results have been achieved through exemplary leadership. “In the past five years, the only other recipients in the UK of this award have been the plant director of Vauxhall Motors at Ellesmere
■ THANKS: Juliette Dennett, managing director of Dale Carnegie Northern England Port and the chief executive of Odeon Cinemas.” Dale Carnegie has worked with Vertu Motors for the last four years, supporting Vertu’s training and development strategy for senior personnel, delivering leadership development and management development.
The award is run in association with Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and UKTI. It is open to firms in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. Contact Ian Greenwood at Eaton Smith on 01484 821389 for more information.
Clough & Company
ONE OF Yorkshire’s most experienced and well-respected accountancy professionals has joined Cleckheaton-based chartered accountants Clough & Company as a director. Roland Clark (pictured) has worked in West Yorkshire for almost 30 years at firms including Grant Thornton, Horwath Clark Whitehill and most recently Baker Tilly. He brings a wealth of SME, not-for-profit, charity and social enterprise accountancy experience to the position and has also played an influential role in a wide range of Yorkshire schools successfully becoming academies. Mr Clark is Pro-Chancellor and treasurer of the University of Bradford, a director of Bradford YMCA and a lay canon of Bradford Cathedral as well as chairing its finance committee. He will work across Clough & Company’s Cleckheaton and Keighley offices. Mr Clark is a past president of Bradford Chamber of Commerce and president of Bradford Society of Chartered Accountants.